"If you kiss me, you will be skinny."
Daughter #2 is at it again--twisting up a phrase in a funny way. (Oh, to be true.) Unfortunately, the phrase she's twisting up usually goes like this: "If you hit (pinch, kick, bite, insert other painful physical response here), you will go to time-out." (Although she can repeat this line, too, she's still learning what it means.)
It's the classic "If...then" statement, perhaps most strongly tied to mathematical equations or scientific hypotheses (or baseball fields, as in the infamous, "If you build it, they will come"). It's called a conditional statement because for a result or truth to be realized, certain conditions must exist.
If a figure has four equilateral sides and four right angles, then that figure is a square. If you buy three boxes of Fruity Sugar Loopies, then you can receive 50 cents off the purchase of a fourth box. (And who doesn't want that? The discount, at least.)
What may not compute is how a God who is unconditional love can still have conditions for those He loves. It's one of those semantic stumbling blocks. God's love IS unconditional--His love. But the God of the universe still requires action on the part of His creation. Not that His love for us will ever change, but the blessings we receive within that love relationship can come conditionally.
"...(If) My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land." II Chronicles 7:14
"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just, and (then) will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness." John 1:9
God can surely act without a response from His loved ones. But think how He must feel when His loved ones read His Word and respond out of obedience. We will never be able to love God unconditionally, but that doesn't mean we weren't called to love. He wants us to love Him with everything we possess--"our heart, soul, mind and strength." Deuteronomy 6:5
So, although God's love for us is forever unconditional, God's working in our lives can come with strings attached--heartstrings.
How do I love Thee? Shall I count the ways?
"If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, (then) I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal." I Corinthians 13:1